Archives for April 2019
We have been contacted by several parishes and individuals regarding the possibility of collecting funds for repairing and rebuilding Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France following the devastating fire last week. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on National Collections has just advised that they do not plan to call for a national collection.
While there will not be a formal collection, the USCCB has worked with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC to set up an account to manage donated funds and assure that they will be used solely for the assistance of Notre Dame Cathedral and those affected by the fire. If your parish receives donations intended for the repair of Notre Dame Cathedral, those funds can be mailed directly to:
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Attn: Monsignor Walter Rossi, Rector
400 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20017
Checks payable to: The Basilica of the National Shrine
PLEASE also mention Notre Dame Paris on the memo line
Because the Diocese of Joliet is not facilitating a formal collection, the funds need not be sent through our Finance Office.
Thank you for all that you do for the Diocese of Joliet.
Needless to say, the theological significance of the Resurrection is quite profound. But despite the complexity of this topic, it is important simply to note that the core event, the simple reality of the Resurrection, is historical. In other words, it really happened. We have to begin there, and then build on it. Here is where the complexity begins, the exploration of ever deeper meaning that our minds crave for, and will always crave for as this is a topic that will never be totally exhausted. The Resurrection is Infinite in scope. Although I would always encourage reading and reflection on the Mystery of the Resurrection, a truly fascinating exploration. I would also strongly advise that you not forget the simple fact that it happened. Even if you never take the time to read anything on it, just the simple recollection that once the Lord walked on earth, died for us, and then rose on the third day, would prove to be enough spiritual food to feed the soul. It would feed us by exciting us – fill us with joy – amaze us! The simple act of remembering it would place us in direct relationship with the Infinite, enlarging our hearts and minds as a result. I will always maintain that real spirituality brings together heart and mind, feeling and thinking. True spiritual living is never just a head trip.
As we find ourselves now face to face (so to speak) with the Infinite, having just celebrated the Sacred Days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and of course Easter, it can be quite useful to listen deeply to our hearts. One must slow down to really listen effectively. To be a successful listener to the Spirit, one must not give into any anxiety or worry. In, fact, it is best not to give into any excess thinking of any kind. We worry too much anyway! And who has ever been successful in life by drowning in excess stress? Rather, isn’t the opposite true? Doesn’t too much stress hurt the physical system, bringing us at best to an early death, depending on how much stress we give into? There is a good reason why we need to go on vacation, take a retreat, work out, and relax in the evening. In such moments we get back in touch with the earth, even if it is the earth as only expressed through our bodies. But better than that, we are able to get in touch with our real selves – with our spirit better stated. And what is the common ingredient in all of these exercises? We slow down; we do not get lost in needless distractions. And so, as we move deeper into the Easter season, it is time to do precisely that. What can we expect to find?
First off, we may easily find new life. I pretty much said as much above, but it is worth repeating. Depending on how much I can give myself to prayer, meditating, or just simply relaxing, I may find better solutions to my problems. I may get insights – deeper ones perhaps. Maybe I will understand better the dreams that I have been having. Maybe I will see clearly how I want to truly live my life, and that perhaps my current life style is self-destructive. Harmful to others, too? I may see the need for simplifying my life. Deepening my religious fervor? I might want to take steps here to improve my spiritual and intuitive sense by taking a Cursillo Retreat. After all, by improving my intuitive and spiritual sense, I may discover that I can now see better what my next steps ought to be; no longer letting my future be one that I inherit by default, something that I fall into unconsciously. God is always willing to guide us, if we take the time to listen.
If we consciously do the above, we will certainly find that we have been choosing to live by the essential Easter theme, i.e., letting the old person rise from the dead (or near death) and become a new person, moving away from the darkness of negativity and unconscious living to the bright, fully aware light of the Son. And with this said, I wish all of you a Happy Easter!
Blessings! Fr. Walter